The thrills have continued at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, after another excellent card last weekend. This week we return once again to Las Vegas with the heavyweight title on the line and so much more.
Champion vs Predator
This card’s main event sees heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic look to defend his belt against the no.1 heavyweight contender, Francis Ngannou.
Establishing himself as the no.3 pound for pound athlete in the UFC, Stipe Miocic has had an incredible MMA career so far. He is 20-3 with six title defenses and has won 11 of his last 13 bouts. His relentless power has seen him finish 15 of his 20 professional victories, all 15 coming by knockout. He dominates his bouts and has the third most takedowns landed in UFC heavyweight history, so expect constant aggression from the champ.
Another fearsome heavyweight, Francis Ngannou is on a four-bout winning streak and has won 14 of his last 16. He has recorded 11 first-round finishes and holds a 15-3 record. He has incredible resilience, having the third-best absorption rate in UFC history. This could play into his advantage this bout as Miocic has such a ferocious fighting style. ‘The Predator’ will be seeking revenge, as last time these two faced off Miocic won via unanimous decision. This has all the makings of a classic bout.
Stealth against fate
Two top-10 contenders in the welterweight division look to bolster their title fight chances with a win this weekend.
Hoping to snap a three-bout losing streak, Tyron Woodley needs to get back to taking control of bouts. He is versatile in the Octagon, recording five wins by submission and seven via KO. ‘The Chosen One’ is at his best when he starts quickly and his opponents on the back foot. Woodley has made four title defenses in this division, but a fourth consecutive loss would see him plummet down the contender ranks.
In inspired form of late, Vicente Luque has won eight of his last nine and two bouts in a row. He is also versatile and has finished 17 of his 19 career wins, 11 via KO and six by submission. ‘The Silent Assassin’ is at his best when he can start and end bouts quickly, fighting until the final bell often results in him losing by decision. The Brazilian will be confident but will still need to be at his best to defeat the former welterweight champion.
Vengeance is sweet
This bantamweight clash sees two exciting athletes hoping a win here can secure them a contender rank.
After a sensational 12-0 start to his professional career, Sean O’Malley lost his last bout by first-round KO. He is used to being the person to finish his opponents in the first round, with eight of his 12 professional wins coming via first-round finishes. He may be sweet to watch but he’d rather be rugged and win than taste defeat again.
Boasting a 22-1 start to his professional career, Thomas Almeida needs to stop the run, having lost his previous three bouts. Like his opponent, Almeida is best when he starts quick and finishes early, with 16 of his 22 victories coming in the first round. He is a KO-focused fighter, with 15 of his last 16 wins coming via KO. This will be a very interesting matchup. It may be a more timid start than anticipated, as both athletes need to win if they want to be considered a serious contender.